WITH cup football taking place in France and Germany on Tuesday night, Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) picked out two bets that piqued his interest.
Dynamo Dresden v Borussia Dortmund | Tuesday 19.30 | BT Sport 2
It’s taken a while but Dortmund are finally up and running in 2014/15. Four successive Bundesliga wins have propelled BVB right into contention for a Champions League qualifying place, ending any lingering fears of relegation.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were outstanding in their 3-0 Revierderby victory over bitter rivals Schalke on Saturday and should come through Tuesday’s trip to Dynamo Dresden in the DFB-Pokal with relative ease.
The 2012 DFB Pokal champions will be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nuri Sahin for the trip to Stadio Dresden as they attempt to reach their fourth consecutive quarter-final in the competition. And backing a BVB win with a -1.5 Asian Handicap is worth an interest at 7/10 with Ladbrokes.
The German giants have come out on top in seven of their last nine away Pokal matches with six victories coming by a margin of two goals or more while the Black & Yellows have kept clean sheets in 12 of their previous 15 away Pokal trips. Should another shutout follow on Tuesday, a win by two goals or more should be on the cards.
Dresden have a decent pedigree when it comes to producing cup upsets, having knocked out Schalke in the opening round of this season's competition before seeing off 2. Bundesliga side Bochum. But the side have endured a torrid 2015 and more pain is likely to follow.
Peter Nemeth's side sit eighth in the 3. Bundesliga after ending a run of four consecutive league defeats at the weekend – Justin Eilers' hat-trick enough to ensure maximum points at Jahn Regensburg. However, Nemeth's side made hard work of their victory as Uwe Hesse and Kolja Pusch scored late on for the hosts to make life difficult for Dresden.
Nemeth – who took over as head coach from Stefan Boeger midway through last month – has seen his side fail to score in their last two outings in front of their home supporters and returned figures of W1-D1-L6 in games against 3. Bundesliga’s top-five teams this season.
Boulogne v St Etienne | Tuesday 20.00
St Etienne travel to third tier Boulogne on Tuesday night in the Coupe de France and I’ll be backing Les Verts to squeeze into the semi-finals with a narrow victory. Paddy Power have made Christophe Galtier’s side available to back at 23/10 to win by exactly one goal and that holds appeal.
Galtier’s men are built from the back and with Loic Perrin marshalling the Saints’ defence, finding a way through one of France’s best organised sides will be tough for the hosts. But Les Verts rarely put opponents to the sword, winning by two goals or more just once on the road since the opening day in Ligue 1.
Looking at their track record in the Coupe de France, the Saints haven’t won by a margin of two goals or more on the road in over 10 years and only once in their previous 13 attempts – that came at home to Vannes, way back in 2010.
Goals have been hard to come by since Brandao moved on and Max Gradel’s pre-African Cup of Nations form has been missing since his triumphant return. And the visitors arrive in northern France with only one league victory since the winter break. It’s hardly inspiring but they should have enough in the tank to beat third tier opposition.
It will be a packed crowd at Stade de la Liberation and Boulogne are relatively strong at home, going on to win every game in which they have opened the scoring this season. However, Stephane Le Mignan’s side have played just one team from a higher division en route to this match and it’s likely to be a step too far.
The Northerners automatic promotion hopes have faded following just one league victory since Christmas and poor weather conditions mean the hosts have played just once in the past three weeks. They’ll be well rested, battle-hardened and keen to impress but they’re likely to come unstuck against their more illustrious visitors.
Taking the 23/10 on St Etienne to win by exactly one goal is most definitely a bit of a punt but I feel it’s worth a play considering Les Verts’ lack of goals on the road (netting two or more in 3/14 away Ligue 1 games).
Dynamo Dresden v Borussia Dortmund – Borussia Dortmund -1.5 Asian Handicap (7/10 Ladbrokes)
Boulogne v St Etienne – St Etienne to win by exactly one goal (23/10 Paddy Power)
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